Title

Is Sexism Taking On New Forms in Movies? Analysis from a New Theoretical Perspective

Presenter Information

Morgan BrewingtonFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Sociology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Jana Hackathorn, PhD.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Typical ideas of sexism include hostile and negative views or treatment of women, but today, ambivalent sexism comes in two forms—hostile and benevolent sexism (Glick & Fisk, 1996). Benevolent sexism is subtle and reinforces female gender roles that include the need for protection. It results from stereotyping women as sensitive, subordinate, and in need of masculine dominance which ultimately restricts women’s roles. Examples of benevolent sexism include using unwanted pet names or encouraging a woman to take on a caregiving role. Hostile sexism includes direct and antagonistic attitudes toward women, a blatant form of prejudice that is less acceptable in current society. For example, hostile sexism includes demeaning comments about a woman’s clothing or name-calling. As gender roles are ever-changing, the changes may be reflected through the media. Movies can be particularly useful in analyzing social conditions at the time of production. Specifically, this study observed the trends of hostile and benevolent sexism in popular movies. Preliminary analysis of 33 top-producing movies across 70 years of film (range: 1950-2018) in various genres (e.g., action, romance, family) indicates that benevolent sexism (M=10.82, SD=9.57; range 0-37) is more prevalent than hostile sexism (M=5.67, SD=7.38; range 0-35), as shown by a paired samples t-test, t(32)=3.40, p=0.002. Data from more movies are still being entered for statistical analysis. Implications will be discussed.

Keywords: sexism, ambivalent sexism, gender roles

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Is Sexism Taking On New Forms in Movies? Analysis from a New Theoretical Perspective

Typical ideas of sexism include hostile and negative views or treatment of women, but today, ambivalent sexism comes in two forms—hostile and benevolent sexism (Glick & Fisk, 1996). Benevolent sexism is subtle and reinforces female gender roles that include the need for protection. It results from stereotyping women as sensitive, subordinate, and in need of masculine dominance which ultimately restricts women’s roles. Examples of benevolent sexism include using unwanted pet names or encouraging a woman to take on a caregiving role. Hostile sexism includes direct and antagonistic attitudes toward women, a blatant form of prejudice that is less acceptable in current society. For example, hostile sexism includes demeaning comments about a woman’s clothing or name-calling. As gender roles are ever-changing, the changes may be reflected through the media. Movies can be particularly useful in analyzing social conditions at the time of production. Specifically, this study observed the trends of hostile and benevolent sexism in popular movies. Preliminary analysis of 33 top-producing movies across 70 years of film (range: 1950-2018) in various genres (e.g., action, romance, family) indicates that benevolent sexism (M=10.82, SD=9.57; range 0-37) is more prevalent than hostile sexism (M=5.67, SD=7.38; range 0-35), as shown by a paired samples t-test, t(32)=3.40, p=0.002. Data from more movies are still being entered for statistical analysis. Implications will be discussed.

Keywords: sexism, ambivalent sexism, gender roles